17 August 2008
the rain catcher in the morning and went to dominoes. I went to the trouble of
proper cooking again and just when I thought it should be time to put in the
Yorkshire puddings I found that the gas had run out quite some time before.
Now I have two bottles to have filled.
rigger again and he came out after lunch. His opinion was that we would have
to drill it and whilst he was there he spotted rust coming out from a cracked
terminal on one of my cap shrouds. I could leave it for now, but not for
long. I could not face the mast descending from a great height at some time in
the future and so that has to be replaced. Both these things meant going into
the marina for a more stable working platform than out here in the bay.
someone else with a view to fixing the autopilot and he came out later that
afternoon. He got wind data to the autopilot which was good, but lost GPS
information, which was not good; hopefully it is just another data cable needed
so that we can daisy chain the three instruments together later in the week.
I had kept finding
ants on the boat and thought they came from the anchor locker, courtesy of the
palm tree, but I found a nest in the mainsail that had stayed in the sail
repairers for a week or so. I do not like mosquitoes and I like ants less than
I like mosquitoes. I poured buckets of sea water over the sail to wash them
off, I would have to rinse it with the hose when I got into the marina.
7.20 I set
off into the marina and it went well, although not according to plan. Mike was
going to take my dinghy to the dock and pick up Jim who was going to be on the
boat to do the ropes, but I was there before Jim was ready for pick up.
Damien, the dockmaster was to take the ropes, but he was a bit late.
cruisers on the pontoons came and provided help with the ropes.
back with his tools and we started drilling the bolt. That went remarkably
well, I was told it could take days, but it was done by noon. The hole needs
rounding and tapping, but that would wait until tomorrow.
I phoned the
first autopilot people to tell them not to bother and they have received a
reply from the installer in St Maarten, such timing.
I phoned the
riggers to tell them they could come anytime, but they said it would still be
Thursday. I had a cup of tea with Jim, looked out and there were two men on my
boat. They were jumping about without me and were just about to use my newly
made cockpit cusion to pad the solar panel to protect it from the boom. I
managed to get things in order. One went up the mast, got to the spreaders and
decided he needed a blowtorch. I went and borrowed one from Jim and then it
rained. While sheltering they decided it was nearly time to go home and not
really a sensible idea to take the shroud down now and leave it overnight
unsupported, it gets rocky here and it is a deck stepped mast – which
means it is an important bit of rigging. They would come back in the morning,
with a blowtorch and hopefully a new wind arrow as mine appears to have snapped
off at some point.
I rowed over
to the shop, the tide was with me, I did try the engine, it did not want to
start, but it worked on the way back.
I have been
away for a week and not really had time to miss the pool, but it was nice to
have a sociable wind down to the busy day. And then I cooked the last of the
chicken that I had bought on Sunday.
still a lot of little things on my list, I will have to pace myself tomorrow.
I managed to put up the mainsail before the riggers came
back and took off the shroud, they could not get the windex off and so I said
to leave it as I did not want to affect the electronic wind instrument; I will
just have to tie a ribbon to the shroud instead. Later the riggers came back
and installed my new shroud, which makes me feel safe again. I went shopping
for bolts, I would have liked 8mm, but the new hole would be bigger. There was
only one in 10mm and I took that back. I settled on ¾” with a hex head
that I can get a socket on. Late in the afternoon we tapped the hole and the
bolt was just right.
I took up my
gas bottles to be refilled. The autopilot was fixed and I went off to see some
people about charts. I got talked into an afternoon of bridge, which I have
not played for decades and never this seriously. I was only making up the numbers,
I never said I was any good, but I did not come last – probably second
from last. When I got back my gas bottles had not been collected.
I wanted to
leave today, the marina and the country, but too much conspired against me. I
took the outboard off the dinghy and knocked the spare prop pins into the
marina. I was snorkeling from the dinghy for a couple of long stints, but
managed to find them in the end and fish them out. I shall be keeping them on
the boat from now on. It rained, very heavily and there was nothing I could do
until that stopped. Eventually I left the marina and went back out to the
Jim and Mike
and I went out for dinner.
re-marked the anchor chain with coloured cable ties and the boat is looking
much more like home again. I went to see people on a boat who had charts to
give me and I got there at 1 and got back at 7.30. That was the entire day
gone. My insurers have agreed to extend my cruising ground, which is good.
Today was the supercharged boats race to Tobago, but I have no idea what
I will send
this now as the internet in general is not good in Trinidad and on board a boat
in the mooring field is not going to improve it any.